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Nightmare of the USA and Moscow: Who Turkey will break off — F-35 or su-57

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There is such an expression in business as a contract of intent, the content of which is not directly enshrined in the current legislation. And even when partners simply “hit on the hands”, has more obligations between them than a similar agreement. So, Turkey now, saying that in the case of pressure from the United States because of the acquisition of Russian s-400 s-400 “Triumph” (NATO classification SA-21 Growler, “Grumbler”) will buy instead of American fighters of the fifth generation F-35 Russian su-57, only voiced this agreement of intent. So tomorrow “drying” with a Crescent on the fuselage just will not appear in the Turkish air force. And the day after tomorrow not will appear, too,, and later — perhaps, that at all su not will become the Contestant. Turkey thus threw the ball on the opponent’s field, or rather two goals — one in the US, the second in Russia. Now let Washington and Moscow puzzle how to dispose of this “happiness”.

In recent years, Turkey has significantly stepped up the development and production of its own weapons. And if a couple of years ago Ankara imported up to 80 percent of “military goods”, then in 2018, according to President Erdogan, buys no more than 35 percent of foreign-made weapons. The bar is defined in 20% of purchases, the rest is own. Abandoning the outdated American and German tanks, Turkey rivets its national Altay, which plans to produce at least 1000 units. Upgraded F-16, even American license, also let yourself. Gür Class submarines equipped with Harpoon anti-ship missiles (USA) and tigerfish heavy torpedoes (UK) are considered to be among the best in their class. Designed and built in Turkey, the corvettes of the project Ada is made with the use of stealth technology “stealth” radar feature and the improved stealth. Turkish-made small arms, which are exported to a number of NATO countries, are also widely known. The Turkish defense industry does not “hold out” except for high-tech air and missile defense systems and fifth-generation fighters, which it is forced to buy abroad. So there was a subject with purchases of the American Patriot air defense systems which Turkey was required initially in a number of four sets with 20 launchers. The deal, as already known, did not take place, and Ankara has decided to buy the Russian s-400 air defense system, which was signed in 2017, which caused “anger and rage” Washington — a strategic partner in NATO.

It is logical that there was a topic of the probability of disclosure of all secrets of the S-400, which is by far the best among anti-aircraft missile systems in the world, including the American “Patriot”. Said, they say, will dismantle our missiles to screw the damn NATO members (Turkey, because NATO country) and find out how it works in order to overcome its defenses. We will refer to the opinion of the military expert, editor-in-chief of the magazine “Arsenal of the Fatherland” Victor Murakhovsky, who claims that the export samples on combat characteristics are significantly inferior to those in service of the Russian army and are “carefully released” from the latest technologies protected by military secrecy.

— Drawing up the passport of export appearance controls the structure of the Ministry of defense — the Federal service for military-technical cooperation, — says Murakhovsky. — Without a defense Department visa, no product will go abroad in a configuration that poses a threat to Russia’s national security. This also applies to the s-400 complex.

It should be noted that the buyer does not take the goods in the box and immediately begins to use it, and adjusts to its standards. Turkey also said that it is going to “modernize” the Russian S-400 and install a number of new devices on them so that in its pure form it will be a slightly different product from the original. By the way, Greece (also a NATO country) is not the first year exploiting the s-300 air defense system and the BUK air defense system, which she inherited after we blocked a contract for the supply of these Russian weapons to Cyprus. The C-300 was even involved in a joint Greek-Israeli exercise, during which the pilots of the Israeli air force tried to work out the counter-air defense, stationed in the territory of Syria.

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Considerable excitement was caused by the current message from Ankara about the intention to buy Russian su-57 instead of American F-35A, which Washington is blackmailing Turkey because of the acquired S-400. Such a deal is highly questionable and its implementation, even if it is a positive decision, will be delayed for a very long time. For comparison, let’s look at Turkey’s participation in the international program (under the auspices of the US) to create a fifth-generation fighter, in which it has been involved since 2002. Currently, the Turkish air force has two F-35A received in 2018. At the same time, the Turkish industry produces about 7 percent of the parts for the new fighter but expected to open its own production. Now the F-35 outside the US is produced only in Italy, it is expected to open the Assembly line of these fighters in Japan by Mitsubishi (38 units).

Turkey, which plans to purchase 100 such new fighters and is one of the largest customers on a par with the UK and Australia, counted on their own production but was refused by the United States. The instability in us-Turkish relations, despite the common membership in NATO, and Europe’s desire to limit the growing independence of Turkey in the international political arena also played a role here. And when Ankara “kicked” and refused far imperfect and expensive American “Patriots” in favor of the Russian S-400, she was threatened from Washington with a finger, they say, do not get now F-35. Turkey in response retorted: “What, there are no other worthy aircraft? We will buy Russian su-57”.

If the F-35A, which are operated by the US air force since August 2016 (in the marine corps since July 2015), is still considered a “raw” aircraft, despite the fact that they have already released more than 380 pieces, the Russian su-57 is still a “wet” fighter. At the same time, theoretically, with the new engine, it will “bypass on the turn” of its main competitor F-35. “Drying” has higher characteristics, including high-speed due to two engines (the American one), better maneuverability and greater armament. Russia is ready to sell its su-57 to any potential customer, among which the Middle East countries are the most likely. Why not Turkey? With Turkey, of course, there are nuances. Already mentioned its membership in NATO, though not the biggest, but still an obstacle. Ankara is unlikely to want to buy a simplified (export) version of the su-57, and will require that everything be on “full stuffing”. Again, the Turks are unprofitable to depend on Russia in the supply of spare parts, so they want to let partially, but to establish the production of these fighters on its territory. Turkey itself is actively developing a fifth-generation fighter, known as the TF-X project, but clearly does not reach it in high-tech components. A big problem with the engine, the production of which “from scratch” takes thirty years, so the Turks are actively cooperating in this regard with the Swedish Saab, considering joining the South Korean or Brazilian programs to create a new generation fighter. It is likely that Turkey will want to be able to produce a licensed su-57, a kind of version of its Tu-57. At the same time, it will certainly require a Russian loan for this production, which is extremely unprofitable for Russia itself, the most necessary funds for the serial production of a fighter.

However, all this is only talking, the very meaningless agreements of intent, because Turkey has not yet made a final decision on the purchase of Russian su-57 and with a high probability can abandon these fighters to maintain relations with NATO. Washington will also make efforts to impose its F-35 on Ankara, especially since Turkey’s withdrawal from its production program threatens to disrupt the production of several dozen such fighters at the expense of its components.

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